Spinach salad tastes SO much better when it's paired with lots of seasonal fresh berries and a tangy citrus yogurt dressing. Don'tcha think?
There are SO MANY things I love about summer. The weather, the sun, the very much smaller loads of laundry from very much smaller clothes, the way that life just seems so much easier and slower, and of course, the berries! I love fresh berries.
Yes, I know you can actually get them year round, but at $4.99 for a tiny little container, I say NO WAY. So I really, really, love it when I see prices in the $2.99 range for the extra-large containers, and I can hardly contain myself when I see a good buy-one-get-one deal!
I recently stocked up on every kind of berry available at Costco and Sprouts Market, and I have more berries in my fridge than I know what to do with.
So fresh berries are the inspiration for this Very Berry Spinach Salad. The popped quinoa adds a bit of a nutty crunch. Just heat the uncooked quinoa in a pan and toast it until it pops. Kind of like tiny baby round popcorn-like croutons.
Strawberries are a must, (don't they just go with spinach salad?) but you can add blackberries, blue berries, raspberries, or all of the above. Did you know berries are one of the best fruit sources for disease fighting antioxidants? No need to special order those expensive super food berries - fresh summer berries are the ultimate superfood.
Come to think of it, the spinach is pretty darn loaded with them too. That makes this a Pretty-Healthy Superfood salad.
Very Berry Spinach Salad with Popped Quinoa & Citrus Yogurt Dressing
- ¼ cup quinoa rinsed and patted dry
- 4 cups baby spinach
- 1 cup sliced strawberries
- 1 ½ cups mixture of blue berries raspberries, and/or black berries
- ¼ small sweet onion sliced thin
- ¼ cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
- 1 tablespoon lime juice from 1 lime
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice from 1 lemon
- ¼ cup fresh squeezed orange juice from 1 orange
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ cup plain nonfat yogurt
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat a large saucepan on high heat, and add quinoa to hot, dry pan. Toss quinoa lightly until quinoa starts to pop. Remove from heat when quinoa is light golden brown and popping slows.
- Combine the spinach, berries, sliced onion, and pepitas in a large bowl, and toss well.
- To make the dressing, combine the lime, lemon, and orange juices, honey, olive oil, and yogurt in a blender or food processor, and process until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Pour desired amount of dressing over salad, and sprinkle with popped quinoa.
- Toss well and serve.
- Store extra dressing in a jar or covered container.
Do you eat berries year round? Or mostly in the summer? Have you ever popped quinoa?